In an attempt to find the root of toxicity and abuse of power in the entertainment industry, fingers have been pointed at not only perpetrators of sexual violence, but their supposed quiet allies. A street artist in LA is using images of Meryl Streep with the text “she knew” in an attempt to do just that.
After news broke that women in Hollywood would be wearing black to the Golden Globes to protest the presence of all the Harvey Weinsteins in the industry, Rose McGowan took to Twitter to criticize the move, and specifically point to Meryl Streep as one actress who allegedly knew of Weinstein’s actions and chose to say nothing. “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @goldenglobes in a silent protest,” McGowan tweeted. “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real chance. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”
In response to the accusation, Streep shared a statement Tuesday claiming she had no prior knowledge of Weinstein's actions. “I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes,” Streep said. “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know.”
Following the statement, posters of black and white images of Meryl Streep next to Weinstein with the text “she knew” have popped up around LA. The images appropriate the style of contemporary artist Barbara Kruger, with her signature red box and Helvetica type. No one is sure of the posters origins, but the internet is divided on the effectiveness of placing so much public blame on the beloved actress.